Engineering the Future: Greg Smart

Engineering the Future: Greg Smart's Career Journey at Wallace Whittle

In an industry where convention often dominates, Greg Smart is a testament to the different pathways that can exist into the world of engineering.

Settled within our Aberdeen Office, Greg, now one of our brilliant Mechanical Engineers, brings a unique perspective shaped by over a decade of hands-on experience with Wallace Whittle. We recently spoke to him to delve deeper into his story, exploring the path to his apprenticeship and the insights he has gained along the way.

Having embarked on his engineering journey at 16, Greg is now a fully-fledged Mechanical Engineer with over a decade of work experience and his Honours Degree in Building Services Engineering, all before the age of 26.

“I joined Wallace Whittle in 2014 as a 16-year-old straight out of school. I always had an interest in technical work, but I knew I did not want to continue in full-time education, so the potential to gain a degree, whilst working full time was a big appeal.”

Coming straight from school, Greg spent time shadowing senior staff members, getting a grasp of the ropes, and leaning as much as possible. Gradually getting involved in larger projects and utilising tech.

“I was given proper responsibility on real tasks which was great, I began using IES (Integrated Environmental Solutions) a lot, and over time, I got more involved in design work, helping with interesting projects.”

We prioritise the continuous professional growth of our apprentices. We offer various avenues for development, including weekly CPDs and fully funded further education opportunities. In Greg’s case, he embarked on a journey to obtain his HNC by attending college one day a week for two years, all while maintaining his employment with Wallace Whittle, before moving on to University.

“In 2019, I began working towards my degree in building services engineering on a part time basis at Glasgow Caledonian University, graduating in 2023. During that time, I worked on a variety of projects for our Aberdeen office.”

At Wallace Whittle, we provide a supportive environment for our staff to thrive and further develop, and with our apprenticeship schemes, our junior staff have room to learn, question and make mistakes.

“The company is more than happy to enroll you in college and university, while exposing you to a variety of projects to help you develop as an engineer. They also have an Academy development program which offers in house training and a clear route to progress within the company.”

Our Academy is our internal training initiative designed to foster growth across four levels, each tailored to address specific areas of development within our workforce. At level three, Greg aspires to move towards level four soon. Levels three and four are dedicated to mentoring and cultivating our mid-level engineers and managers, nurturing them into future leaders in both management and business.

Our dedicated staff also play an integral role in guiding our apprentices along their journey, offering support both professionally and personally. With a team of 130 professionals spanning across the UK, we are fully devoted to embracing and assisting our apprentices as they navigate their path to growth and success! As Greg reflects on his decade-long tenure, he highlights the invaluable support he received from fellow Wallace Whittle staff, particularly his colleagues in the Aberdeen office.

“Over the last 10 years, I have been fortunate enough to work with several highly skilled engineers within the company who have helped me massively. Particularly, my colleagues in the Aberdeen office have been incredibly supportive during my time here, particularly Derek Andrew, Brian Doyle, Kevin Milne, Scott Paterson and of course, Andy Forbes our Director.“

With 10 years at Wallace Whittle under his belt, we wanted to know what Greg sees for himself next in his career, from leaving school to now having a degree and a chosen discipline in mechanical engineering.

“There have been numerous people who have been supported through university by Wallace Whittle who have gone on to have very successful careers, and I hope to continue my progress within our Aberdeen Office.”

As our conversation ended, we asked Greg’s for his tips for those contemplating an apprenticeship or a career at Wallace Whittle:

“For anyone who does not see themselves staying in school or going straight into further education, joining Wallace Whittle is a fantastic opportunity to pursue a challenging, but rewarding career, all whilst still having the chance to go gain a degree through the company sponsored trainee/apprenticeship scheme.

It was the best decision I could have made! Also ask as many questions as you can, you can never ask too many questions”

Aspiring engineers, like Greg, are welcomed to join our dynamic team and embark on their own fulfilling careers through our apprenticeship programs.

If you’re ready to take the next step towards a rewarding career in engineering, we invite you to apply for our apprenticeship opportunities today! Applications are accepted year-round, with our primary intake window occurring during the summer months.

Visit: Apprenticeships at Wallace Whittle

Or get in touch to discuss your experience and let’s see how we can bring you on board, email [email protected]